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Horse’s Mouth

October 10, 2022

Horse's Mouth (Issue #238, October 2022)


Due to circumstances beyond our control, ‘Defiance I’ will now be released in 2023. Watch this space for further updates. It will come out in all formats.

And here we are again.

Stefan Harary: Yah never know – sounds great. I think my son works near one – near Madison Square?

Danny G says I’m a great ambassador for Rock. Cheers!

Steve Glos: “Had the pleasure of meeting Steve Popovich a few times in his office in Cleveland – still have his Christmas gift – a bottle of pear liqueur in my booze cabinet. A wonderful human and musical mensch.” Amen.

Dave Hermon: It will be in all formats.

Nick Malcolm: ‘Defiance !”

Shug Laverty: “I believe you and Trudi are about to celebrate your Golden Anniversary – just wanted to offer congrats. 50 years together is remarkable in these times – especially in the business you’re in. Your love for each other clearly shines and is reflected in the fantastic songs you’ve written for her over the years. Hope you have a brilliant time celebrating – best wishes for the years to come. Take care. Shug.” How nice of you!

Bob Boyle: “What do you think happened with the death of Brian Jones?” Doesn’t matter what I think, Bob – I wasn’t there.

Fred Burkhardt: I stumbled across Howlin Wolf, in particular, the 1971 London Sessions with Clapton, Winwood, Wyman & Watts. I guess I have been living under a rock. Shame on me. Great blues, lyrics, guitar and harmonica sounds. Was he an influence in your early years?” No – but he should have been – he was a great!!

Timothy D. Natysin: “Ian, over the years, I’ve been fortunate to watch you play with Ronson, Ringo and in recent years, Mott the Hoople (a triumph). Thanks for everything! Tim (from Minnesota).” You’re very welcome!

Eddy Pearce thinks I should have a go at ‘Man Who Sold the World’.

Jimmy Andrews: “What was Bob Clearmountain like to work with? He’s worked on so many iconic records. I remember Bruce saying that he was so good at his job he’d have a song mixed in like 90 minutes and he was like ‘he’s great, but he works too fast for us’ in a jokingly way. Bruce was known to spend months on songs so I get that. Anyway, what made him so good at what he does?” Bob was doing disco stuff at the Power Station in NYC and Corky Laing and I did some demos there. Getting a good sound on drums wasn’t easy back then, but Bob made them sound pretty amazing. A little later on, I went back with Ronno and the East Streeters and did ‘Schizophrenic’ – the first rock album Bob ever did. The East Streeters told Bruce what a great place it was and how fab Bob was – and the rest is history.

Kevin (Newcastle): Hope all is well and musical juices still flowing!! Can’t wait for the new album!!! Watching BBC4 the other night It was a compilation of Top Rock performances – Mott were on it. There was also a clip of the Roy Young Band. I’ve not heard of them before – they were great. Info popped up on the screen saying they toured as support for the Hunter/Ronson Band in the 70’s. Did they ever play with you on a UK tour?” No, I think it was just Canada.

Bill says I’m lovely and all that and then asks, ‘Do you have any favourite part in the creative process?” I guess the favourite part is when the first glimpse comes into your head – after that it’s a bit of a slog.

Birney Brown: “At age 71 my favourite singer songwriters remain yourself, Brian Ferry and Dave Cousins. BF is 76; DC is 77; Andy Mackay guested on ‘Memphis’ and Blue Weaver joined the 1974 tour. Any thoughts/interactions?” Met Andy again at the 2019 Hall of Fame gig – still looking very suave. Haven’t seen Blue in years – great, great pianist/organist.

Paul Dowswell: My wife, Jenny use to go to see Mott at the Wolverhampton Civic in the early 70’s (Slade were in the front row). Can you wish her a Happy Birthday – early November?” Better early than late – Hi Jenny – have a great one!! IH x

Jeffrey: “Just read an editorial about you by journalist Ken Curson. WOW! Did he ever have some good things to say about you! ” Great!

Danny G – on the passing of the Queen. She was a great Lady.

Robert Kleb: “Hope the tinnitus is improving.” I’s barometric – up and down with the weather.

Mikey: “Laugh at Me and At the Crossroads were so Dylanesque. It is said that Guy Stevens envisioned a band that sounded like the Rolling Stones with Dylan as the lead singer. What can you say about Stevens involvement with MTH eponymous albums?” Well, the Stones were blues based – Mott weren’t – but we rocked. I wasn’t a naturally great singer, but I loved Dylan – and I used his technique – and Guy loved the combination!

Bill Mason: “Do the Bell House in Brooklyn!” We’ll see – it’s a good venue.

Stonefly: Mikes on two of mine and I’m on one of his.

Roy: “Hope you gents get out and play. Just saw Andy York with Patti Smith’s band – simply magical. He really raised their sky high level even more.” Good one.

Andy: “Seen you countless times; can’t wait for the next installment!” Go to all your gigs with my Dad and it gives us time to hang out and be together, so just wanna say thanks! Hope to bring him to more.” Great stuff.

Michael Bursko: “Any chance of archive live recordings being released? Would love to hear anything from the 1988 tour with Ronno.” I’m not very good at going back, Michael. I guess – watch this site. There’s a couple of re-releases out now, but that’s more Campbell Devine / Ian Crockett territory.

Todd Rosenstack: “I heard ‘The Debt’ recently from a live show. Didn’t realize it was ever performed live. Seems like it was deeply personal. Thanks for writing it.” You’re welcome!

Louis: “You are such an inspiration, both musically and cosmically. I hope you tour again – at least in the Northeast.” Blush!

Michael Wolf: “Hope all is well. Just picked up ‘Shrunken Heads’ from Amazon. Other than that – I know some guitarists use pretty exotic tunings on their instruments. Do you usually go with standard or experiment?” I’ve used open G quite a lot in the past (i.e. ‘Once Bitten’). Actually, I ‘m writing less on guitar and more on piano – it is less restricting.

Phil Fortin: “Great wordsmith you are, any thought of covering other people’s great lyrics?” What’s the point?

Alan Shiell: “A new trend during/after Covid is for signed editions on pre-order. Any chance of this happening? Dunno – I’ll enquire.

Tony Day: “Why does the Far East get bonus tracks and we don’t?” Good question – I don’t know. Never worked with him.

Roland M Tocups: “Who spoke the spoken lines on ‘Memphis’ and ‘Violence’? I think it was Buffin; he had a beautiful speaking voice.

Dave Hermon: All formats.

Mike Henry: Actually, it probably saved my life too, so I know what you mean.

Tony S: “Happened on a music channel on an unnamed TV service, 2 of 4 were ‘Slaughter on 10th Avenue’ and a collage of you and Ronno in concert. Shocked me!”

Tony S: “Hey Ian – me again – few songs later, ‘Golden Age’ popped on!! Surreal.”

Fat Wally: “What’s the best line someone ever gave you (like your wife)? What’s the best line you ever stole from somebody else?” Trudi comes up with them now and again; I recently nicked a song title out of a conversation! I’ve always wanted to put, ‘When I want your opinion – I’ll give it to you’ in a song. I’ve heard it used before, but it’s so apropos.

Chris Deluca: I’ve no memory at all of this! Anyway – you’re forgiven!

Brad Davis: Perhaps – way back when.

Edward Greenberg: “Am I the only one who hears Dire Straits as a derivative band of Mott the Hoople?” New one on me.

Ivar Samset: “Do you have any unreleased tracks, outtakes or unreleased versions of songs from the past? (Yes, I know there were a few on ‘Stranded in Reality’). And if you do – any chance these will be released?” Dunno – for me – once they’re done – they’re gone.

Jeffrey: “What is ‘Drivin / Sister’s first name? A: Panama (ha ha, get it?)”


Keith Hollinshead: Yup.

Jim McConnell: “Are the forthcoming albums drastically different in content or is the second a continuation of the first?” They were both written in the same time period – just had to sort out running orders. No idea about gigs at the moment.

Jim Bagley: “Have you read ‘Turn ‘n’ Face the Strange’ – the new bio on Ronno?” I’ve read parts of it on the Appreciation site. Sounds like a very thorough look at Mick’s early life with all the original guys. Susie was up and she likes it.

John Mylers: Springsteen reportedly sold his back catalogue to Sony for a reported $550 million (not a bad pay day, eh). Would you consider doing the same if the right offer came along?” I’m not keen on it. The trouble is they’re buying all this stuff up and they will be monopolizing movies and ads. I’m just not keen on it.

Jerome Preisler: Don’t hold your breath!

Phil Bentley: “Hi Ian, I am a long time fan of Graham Parker along with yourself. I recently sat with GP while we were at a gig in Camden & had a nice conversation. He had nothing but good things to say about you.” As I always do about him – the genuine article.

Mark F: “Hurricane Ian is a monster, what is the worst weather event you’ve gone through?” He had a microburst a few years back. Needed a new roof & gutters – power was out for a week. After that we bought a generator!!

Dave Britz: All formats.

Andy Martin: “I understand you played chess backstage on tour with MTH. Who were the other chess players in the band?” I remember Pete going through a chess phase. He would go completely mad on something from time to time – and you had to go along with it!

Matt Parish: “Headed to NJ for a wedding last weekend and saw this street corner sign….had to share!”

Well spotted!

Rohana: “Dear Mr. Patterson, I smooched you exactly on the lips (Ardmore, PA). My brother did not know how to work a digital camera…lol. So, if/when you’re in town, can we do a retake? I’d very much appreciate it! And will bring professional photographer! My brother is a nice guy but sometimes he just sucks. Thank you and stay healthy…EVERYONE! Jackie Rohana.” I’ll leave this one to Trudi!

Whalespoon: Dunno; we’ll have to see.

Craig Nevitt: “The Queen, death of a nation?” She was a great lady.

Craig Nevitt: “What’s the Naz?” The big kahoona.

Michael Alderman: Lifetime listener! – but I really miss Mick Ronson.

Geof Carter: Dunno – up to the record company.

Craig: “Are you aware your picture is on the wall in Las Vegas at the John Varvatos store in Caesars Palace Forum Shops?” Didn’t know that. John’s a nice guy.

Habiba: I don’t.

Francis: 1) “How did you feel about Hurricane Ian?” Badly. 2) I’m playing ‘RIP’ – dedicated to Elizabeth II on the radio. 3) Saw MTH at Wheeley Festival years ago. A charity event with King Crimson and T. Rex. On the bill. Who’d you meet? Fripp?” Actually, Fripp liked Mott. 4) It’s all ‘Science Fiction’ isn’t it?” Less of the science.

Michael Depaoli: Clive Davis (Arista) liked the song and played if for Barry Manilow in his office. Mr. Manilow picked up on it and it went from there.

Scott: “What do you think of a book of lyrics that didn’t turn into tunes?” Don’t think it would sell.

Laurent: I think that every artist has albums that in retrospect might have wound up sounding better – but they’re of their time. It’s not really what I’m into. I prefer writing new stuff. Nothing in Europe at the moment.

Dru on Hurricane Ian (actually, it was Hurricane Henry – at one point in my restless youth).

Janet Kaplan – you’re right about your brother.

Debbie Brautman: No touring plans at the moment – sorry!

Bill P: It varies.

Morris: Guy Stevens gave Mott the title ‘Death May be Your Santa Claus’ – Guy was great with titles – he had books full of them.

Kevin Carver: Play Knoxville, TN. Historic TN Theatre – like the Ryman – sounds great!

Fred Jardin (Not the Hoople): Fred – Regards to the chaps & the ladies. I’m familiar with the no income bit. Shared many a hotel room back in the day. If the song is an emotional one, I just sing it – I try not to think about it. ‘Michael Picasso’ – I cannot think about it when I sing it; that’s the hardest one for me.

Nick Price: “Just watching Emile Sande tracing the history of her grandparents. Turns out those on her mother’s side first met at the Admiral Benbow on Swan Hill. They too found a way out of there – in time.”

Bill C: In this case it worked like a dream. I wouldn’t have thought it could be this good. I guess it’s hit and miss – and we got lucky.

Oooer Wullie: Tuesday?

John Dalton: My Dad was an athlete. He had me running in hob nailed boots after school – I’ve kept up that side of things – it becomes a habit. Never ate that much junk (Trudi’s a good cook!!!). I don’t know, I’ve been lucky (apart from the tinnitus). A whole lot of people are much worse off than me at my age.

Tor Bjornevoll: It’s on its way. “Here’s something else”

Pat: OK

And so it goes
The Horse’s Mouth

P.S. Ray Harper – Thank you for your book.

If you would like to hear it “straight from the Horse’s Mouth”, you can Ask your question here.